I browsed the charity shops in Preston and found new clothes from Zara and other designers at great prices

The cost of living is soaring and is expected to continue to soar throughout the year. For many of us, that will mean looking where we can make cuts.

People across the country are facing a dramatic increase in their energy prices. An average household will see an annual bill jump from £1,971 to £3,549 from October 1, which will remain in place until December 31, when it will be adjusted again.

Even before that, charity shops and thrift stores have seen a huge increase in the last 12 months, with a 7% increase in revenue per charity shop reported since before the pandemic.

READ MORE: Blackpool illuminations will cost nearly £2million as the world-renowned spectacle learns to cope with soaring energy prices

With that in mind, I shopped around to some of the charity shops in Preston to see what they had on offer and couldn’t believe some of the things I found.

Derian House Hospice Shop

There are six Derian House Hospice stores in Lancashire where you can sustainably buy fashion, accessories, furniture, household goods, electrical goods and more. I visited one of the newer ones, on Fishergate in Preston.

Here, clothing sizes ranged from 6 to 18 and from XS to XL. The items in this shop are all individually priced, but there were some great deals to be had. One of my favorite finds here was this elegant pink midi dress for just £6.50, perfect for those who want to look good on a budget.

You can also buy furniture here, and they had this huge sofa, for £300.



This gorgeous pink midi dress was priced at just £6.50


This huge sofa was only £300

British Red Cross

The next stop on my bargain hunt was the British Red Cross. It was one of the more expensive charity stores, but it offered a variety of clothing, bric-a-brac furniture, as well as records, CDs and DVDs, with sizes ranging from 6 to 22 and XS to XXL.

The items in this shop are all individually priced, but the brands kept coming, with a Black Reiss jumper for just £4.49.

The British Red Cross also has a partnership with high street giant, Zara. This means you can often find brand new Zara clothes, with tags attached, for a fraction of what they would have cost in stores. My favorite finds were these patent heeled boots at £19.99 (RRP £39.99) and this pink dress, which was a bargain at £25, as it was new at £79.99.



These Zara boots originally cost £39.99, here they were on sale for half.


This dress was only £25, her RRP was nearly £80.


This Riess jumper was just £4.49

Emmaus furniture

Emmaüs Furniture was next on my hit list. The charity shop helps people overcome homelessness and sells a range of sofas, appliances, beds, cabinets, chairs, tables and office furniture.

Their items have been assessed individually, depending on whether they are new or used.

Some of my favorite budget finds included a brand new £399 Maytag condenser tumble dryer, which had an A++ energy rating. There was also a matching Maytag 10kg washer for £309.

Their beds ranged from £215 for a double to £249 for a super-king. These prices include the box spring and the mattress.



Brand new £399 Maytag condenser tumble dryer


rand new Maytag 10kg washer at £309

Emmaus clothing

Right next to Emmaüs Furniture is their clothing store. It was one of the cheapest stores I have visited, with prices ranging from £4 and up. Here they sold clothes and shoes for men and women, as well as a children’s range and a bric-a-brac section. Sizes ranged from 6 to 20 and S to XL.

Here I was able to find a men’s Jack Wills jumper for £4, as well as a Phase Eight dress for £4.50. Their children’s range included this purple Trespass coat for £4.50 and this boy’s Nike hoodie.



This Trespass coat was just £4.50.


This boy’s Nike sweater was a bargain

British Heart Foundation

The British Heart Foundation was next on my list and was one of the most expensive shops on my list. It stocked a mix of new and used clothes, shoes, jewelry, books, CDs and toys, with sizes ranging from 10 to 18 and S to XL.

While the price of the odd item was as low as £3.49, the price range was wider than other stores I had been to (apart from the British Red Cross). Here I found a gorgeous winter coat for just £9.99, as well as this Warehouse knit dress, also priced at £9.99.



This stunning embellished warehouse was just £9.99


This winter coat will be perfect when it gets a bit colder, priced at just £9.99

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